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Mac 3D News: Allegorithmic Adds Design Industry First to Substance Designer 5.5

Material Definition Language (MDL) authoring is now possible and Linux support increases compatibility with VFX pipelines.


In August Allegorithmic has released a key free update to their flagship product, Substance Designer, now at version 5.5. The update brings MDL authoring to the 3D community.

Bringing MDL to the Industry

An exclusive feature, Material Definition Language (MDL) authoring allows designers to create and share consistent 3D materials across teams without conversion. The new technology builds upon last year’s integration of NVIDIA’s DesignWorks, which introduced MDL and Iray to the popular texturing engine.

“Combining MDL authoring with Substances opens the door to a universe of materials that were impossible to create before,” said Sébastien Deguy, founder and CEO of Allegorithmic. “With unlimited possibilities, artists and designers can now make materials they have only dreamed of, while achieving remarkable consistency in how these materials look and feel across supporting 3D applications.”

Creating Custom MDL Textures Without Coding

With Substance Designer 5.5, users can make an MDL material from scratch, without coding, using a non-destructive workflow. With this ability, designers can now create tweakable, multi-layered, homogenous materials with volume, with or without the use of Substances. Whether used for car designs featuring high-gloss paint or intricate skin effects that require realistic transparencies, MDL authoring ensures that materials created in Substance Designer are easy to customize and shareable. As libraries are developed, materials can be shared with any MDL-ready software program, helping artists make key decisions much earlier in the design process.

01 - Allegorithmic is growing thanks its Substance product line. The latest Substance Designers 5.5 adds support for MDL authoring.

01 – Allegorithmic is growing thanks its Substance product line. The latest Substance Designers 5.5 adds support for MDL authoring.

“Substance Designer has the deep, robust set of features we are looking for when we are trying to achieve awesome custom paint, and paint effects,” said Matthew Gueller, senior surface designer at Harley Davidson. “I don’t think we can do better without using real paint.”

“Substance Designer is the first application to provide an end-to-end MDL workflow, enabling its user base to take their materials to a wide variety of applications for physically-based rendering,” says Phillip Miller, senior director of product management, Advanced Rendering for NVIDIA. “The combination of Substance Designer’s intuitive workflow and MDL’s flexibility is amazingly powerful and should prove to be an invaluable tool for anyone using an MDL-compliant renderer such as Iray, mental ray and soon V-Ray.”

Several features have also been developed for the film and games industries including support for Linux, the ability to import custom camera views in the .fbx format and new UI improvements. More additions are expected in the coming months.

For a free 30-day trial of Substance Designer 5.5, click here.

Pricing and Availability

Substance Designer 5.5 is available today for Linux, Mac OS and Windows, and is free for current license holders and Substance Live subscribers. For new users, indie licenses are priced at $149, while Pro licenses are available for $590. Licenses can be purchased directly through the Allegorithmic website or an authorized retailer.

Architosh Analysis

Allegorithmic continues to rise in the gaming and visual effects world. It competes on many levels with other 3D painting tools such as Mari, Mudbox and BodyPaint 3D, among others. The big thing that is driving the rise of Allegorithmic, beyond its own innovations, is the rise in interest in physically based renderers and the rise in real-time renderers, and sometimes both and sometimes with the use of game engines outside the gaming industry.

For AEC visualization professionals, essentially all the Substance products are of value. Substance B2M in particular enables users to make any material photography tile seamlessly. And a very good reason to use Substance Designer or Substance Painter is to add those real-to-life imperfections to renders.


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